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  • President's Message January 2024
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  • President's Message January 2024

President's Message January 2024

December 30, 2023 12:12 PM | Anonymous

Dear Members,

The end of the year is often a time for reflection. We look back on the year we just had and think forward about the year that is to come. We think about the things we are thankful for and possibly a few things we are sad about. It's a good opportunity to take some time to unwind and unpack your thoughts as we get ready to do it all again!

I am going to do this slightly in reverse though. We will look forward first as January has two big events for our association.

The 30-year anniversary of the Northridge earthquake is this January 17th! This is still one of the biggest natural disasters in the history of Southern California. SEAOSC is putting on a one-day symposium that offers a chance to look back at what happened, understand what changes we have made, look forward at where we are going and dive deep into a host of technical topics that will provide something for all of our membership. Don't miss this significant event and signup today (

The end of January will also have our annual Trivia night. This fun yet competitive event is sure not to be missed. Stay tuned for location to be announced soon but mark your calendars and set your teams for Friday, January 26th!

Now as we look back at December, it was another busy month for the association. A big thank you goes out to all who participated in the Gingerbread challenge where we had a successful year two and look forward to another great event next year! And we also wrapped our events for 2023 with a historic structures pub crawl and a webinar on a retrofit project in Alaska.

Our Board of Directors was also hard at work at our December meeting. Three key topics of discussion included:

  • Bylaw updates - An ad-hoc committee has spent the past year updating and providing revisions to our bylaws. It's been over 20 years since the last major revisions to our bylaws. An overview of the revisions and updates were presented by the Ad-Hoc Committee Chair (and Past SEAOSC President and current State SEAOC Treasurer) Kelsey Parolini. After a thorough review and discussion, the Board voted to present the Bylaw changes to SEAOSC for a membership vote. Keep a look out for a separate email on this in early January.
  • The SEAOSC Existing Building Committee (EBC) presented two draft letters with their recommendations in response to requests from local jurisdictions on potential upcoming ordinances or changes to ordinances.
    • The County of Los Angeles requested feedback from the SEAOSC EBC on a potential upcoming LA county ordinance on non-ductile concrete buildings. A draft ordinance was received by the EBC for review and consideration. Over several months, the EBC reviewed and discussed recommendations and developed a draft letter of recommendations for the Boards review and approval. Daniel Zapeda, current EBC Co-Chair and BOD member, provided an overview of the recommendations. The Board discussed, voted and passed on the recommendations which will be sent back to LA County.
    • The City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety has been actively working on updates to adaptive reuse language in the current LA City building code. LADBS reached out to SEAOSC's EBC to provide comments and any potential recommendations for changes to the existing adaptive reuse guidelines which have been in effect for over 20 years. There are many aspects to the guidelines that go beyond structural engineering, but a key component of the guidelines is mandatory evaluation/analysis for commercial to residential conversions. The EBC presented a draft letter of recommendations to the Board for consideration and review. An overview was also provided by Daniel Zapeda and many thoughtful comments were shared by the Board. These comments are now going back to the EBC for further discussion and completion of the letter. An updated draft letter will be sent to the Board with completion of the recommendations in early January for issuance to LADBS.
  • The board also voted on and approved a request by the WISE committee to separate and form a stand-alone Mentorship committee. This group has grown in size and the mentorship program has been a big success in the last two years at SEAOSC. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank WiSE for putting in countless hours of hard work in initiating and launching it the program. Some of these efforts included background research through SE3, partnering with SEAONC for lessons learned and sharing resources, and developing a program that could smoothly run for future chairs and members of the new committee. Thank you WISE! Please keep a lookout for a separate announcement of the new committee and chairs and join up if you are interested!

I'd like to remind everyone that there are plenty of other opportunities to get involved. We still have opportunities for participation on State committees including representation on either the Wind, Policy/Legislature, Professional Practice or Continuing Education State Commitees. We will also begin forming our convention committee for 2026 and if you want to be part of the planning and help organize one of the most important and prestigious Structural Engineering events in the world, please consider signing up. If you have interest in either of these, please reach out to me directly or to our association executive director at

And in words to live and work by for the month, my word this month is efficient. We all know how busy life can be. Sometimes we think the only way we can do more is by cutting something out. But maybe it's not what needs to be cut out, but rather becomes more efficient. And in true form to the word, I will leave it at that. Consider how you can be more efficient and find that bit of elusive time you thought you didn’t have.

Welcome to 2024! I can't believe it's here….. Let’s have a great year!

Craig Chamberlain, SE

2023-24 SEAOSC President

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The Structural Engineers Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) is a professional association with a rich history and a commitment to shaping the future of structural engineering. This legacy continues to affect the field, as SEAOSC remains a dynamic platform for knowledge sharing, professional development, and community engagement.

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